Sunday Spotlight – Mark Herndon

Welcome to the first post in my new series, Sunday Spotlight, featuring music artists!

One of the greatest joys in my life is supporting fellow artists. And, I know from experience that often singer/songwriters/musicians don’t have the time or energy to create a blog. Therefore, I have opened my blog to guest posts from music artists for a Sunday Spotlight.

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Mark Herndon, drummer with the supergroup, Alabama!

Mark has lots to share AND he has a brand new book release.

Welcome, Mark!

Thank you, Jan, for giving me a platform to talk about my work. I am super happy about my new book release, The High Road – Memories From a Long Trip.


As the book cover says, these are memories from a long trip. I played drums for the group, Alabama for almost thirty years. But that was a second career for me. I also dreamed of being a pilot. I’m one of those lucky guys that got to have both of my dreams come true.

One of the main things that inspired me to write this book was my father. I was always very curious about things that he did in his life, but he played his cards very close to his chest and didn’t share much. He was a military man and he was trained to do that plus people of that generation didn’t talk too much about themselves. I was never able to coax him to share his stories with me. So, I looked around one day and realized that I had a collection of stories from my own life, which was a little bit on the unusual side, compared to the average folks.

When my daughter became an adult, I started thinking that history was repeating itself like it did with me and my dad, and that maybe someday she’d want to share my stories with her kids. That was when I got serious about telling them. I started typing that first story, and by the time I was two or three paragraphs into it, I realized I was entertaining myself. Also, I want to say that I didn’t start my book at the beginning of the story. I jump into the middle around 1985 or 1986.

There’s a lot in the book that you have to read between the lines because either I had to write it that way, or wanted to write it that way. This is not a “tell all.” It’s a “tell almost.” And I have to thank my wife for that. We originally hired a Hollywood show business type publicity firm that put an enormous amount of pressure on me to write more dirt, because dirt sells. But, my wife was adamant about not doing that. She knew I wasn’t that kind of person, and it was important to stay true to myself. I’m glad I did!

As I said earlier, I am just one of those lucky guys that got to do what I wanted to in life. Of course, I had to do the work. I had to study and I had to learn, but I have managed to enjoy two completely different careers.

Country Music Hall of Fame Drummer, Mark Herndon
Pilot, Mark Herndon

Book Blurb:

  • What drives a man to spend 26 years performing night after night?
  • How can he persevere through a stifling tour bus, bad food, strange women, flared tempers, a plane nearly blown from the sky?
  • Just how did that troubled military brat with a dream claw his way from dirt-floor dive-bar shows to the world’s biggest stages?

Aviator, author, and Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon lived that dream with one of the most popular and celebrated bands of all time. He learned some hard lessons about people and life, the music industry, the accolades and awards, how easy it is to lose it all . . . and how hard it is to survive, to embrace sobriety, to live even one more day.

Herndon’s poignant memoir offers a tale at once cautionary and inspirational, delightful and heartbreaking, funny yet deeply personal. From innocence to rebellion to acceptance, can a man still flourish when the spotlight dims? Are true forgiveness, redemption, and serenity even possible when the powerful say everything you achieved somehow doesn’t even count? That you’re not who you and everyone who matters thought you were?

Mark Herndon refuses to slow down. So look back, look ahead, and join him on the trip.

He’s taking The High Road.

Author Blurb:

Legendary Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon yearned to fly jets as a military brat, then discovered the dream of playing drums, vowing to come back one day and perform at the very place where he once had to stand outside just to hear. Along the way, he loved and lost and made plenty of mistakes, persevering to achieve all that he imagined before having so much taken away. After decades with one of the most celebrated bands of all time, he still lives his dreams, playing, producing, flying, and now writing with keen observations about life and living in the spotlight.

And now, Mark is managing, and playing drums for his beautiful wife, Leah Seawright in her band. So, the road goes on and Mark is looking ahead! They have new music coming, and I will happily showcase it here once the record is released!

Thank you, Mark for gracing my blog site and I wish you and Leah well with all your endeavors!

Follow Mark and Leah:

Mark’s Facebook

Mark’s Website

Leah’s Website

Leah’s Facebook

PLEASE NOTE! When you purchase “The High Road” from Mark’s website, you will receive an autographed copy!

50 thoughts on “Sunday Spotlight – Mark Herndon

  1. Doesn’t seem odd at all to me that Mark would take the high road. He was that kind of dude all the way back in high school. Proud to call him my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this new blog series, Jan! I loved Alabama’s songs growing up. And Mark, I love the concept of tell almost. I’d never heard that phrase before, but I love it. Some things are just too private, and some things should just be left to the reader’s imagination. Welcome to your third dream come true! You may never have thought of writing a book as a dream, but this blog post shows that it was embedded in you through missing out on your father’s stories. This book will be a treasure that your children and grandchildren will cherish forever. Congratulations! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I truly enjoyed this blog post. I read the book and found it quite interesting. As an Alabama fan, I felt a little betrayed that the rift resulted in the fans not having the group we supported and loved, all 4 of them, continue. Money does odd things and I understand this perspective and the reasons behind the actions taken. I hope someday these 4 men will put their differences aside and one day perform again together as the group Alabama. Many memories were made for many people. I am very pleased to see my favorite drummer having an exceptional life and doing the things he enjoys. You deserve it. Be happy.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I worked at RCA Records in the mail room in 1980. I had the pleasure of driving Mark to D.O.G. Percussion one day for a new kick pedal. He was a very cool and laid back dude that dug my 67 Dodge Dart. Truly a classy and down to Earth human. He probably won’t remember me. That’s okay.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Mark,
    I really enjoyed your book. How was your publishing experience? Curious to learn if it is a difficult process, and if you were happy with your publisher?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Thomas. Thanks so much for stopping by. I think Mark will tell you he worked with a great group of people to get his book published. I can tell you firsthand it is not easy writing a book but if you have a story to tell it is the most rewarding thing!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Thomas, I am very happy with my publisher. Although it can be a difficult process, (more like a minefield) all the good folks at Fresh Ink Group worked closely with me from day one on all the things a fledgling author has to learn.I would recomend them to anyone.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks for your response, Mark. I checked out the Fresh Ink Group website and am impressed with them and their efforts to help new authors.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Taking the high road is always a great path and my congratulations to Mark for not only writing this book but for realizing that some things are better left unsaid.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love that Mark and Leah stood firm and did not bow to the pressure of “dirt sells.” The name for the book is perfect, and it sounds like an amazing memoir. I have so many fond memories of listening to Alabama. And seriously—how many people get to fulfill not only one dream, but two? Bravo to Mark, and best wishes. Fantastic share, Jan!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Hi Beem,
    Dude, that is one of the toughest questions people ask me from time to time… Each vocation is equally fullfiling in it’s own way. Since I am supposedly at a more pragmatic stage in life now, (eye roll..) I guess I’de have to go with flying. It is a lot easier to make a living burning jet fuel that it is burning the candle at both ends playing music. But-there are times when I really miss how much fun it can be to play gigs on the road… Maybe I just suffer from an ongoing identity crisis..LOL! Either way I feel so lucky and blessed to have able to get so much out of both occupations..

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Hi, Mark. I read and enjoyed your memoir. I have a question: You’re not just an accomplished musician, you’re also a veteran pilot. Both of these (music and flying) are deeply ingrained in your life. If you had to make a choice between music and flying, which would you choose? Wishing you the very best.

    Jan, as always, thanks for hosting and supporting Mark on your blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hey, fellow drummer here, huge fan. Saw you live once. Love the book. Would love a signed copy. I live in Florida but come to Alabama once in a while. Hope to meet you one day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Kent,
      Drummers rule!!! Yeah man, the book will be shiopping soon. Head on over to my website and put in an order. I will be a busy boy signing and mailing books soon.Thanks again and keep on rockin!

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Wow, Jan! This is an excellent kickoff to your new Sunday Spotlight series featuring musicians, all important in their own unique ways. Mark’s dual careers are both fascinating aspects of a remarkable man and musician, but I especially like how your post and his memoir give us a private look into who he is and how he has taken such a remarkable journey. I’m not from the South, but now I live in the state of Alabama an hour from Ft. Payne, where the supergroup Alabama was born, and where to this day the bronze statues like Mark’s on the back cover welcome fans and visitors to the city park of a very proud town. I urge all visitors to follow Jan’s blog, and to share and reblog every new post. What a wonderful way to start my Sunday! Thanks, Jan!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Mae! I did almost bow to the dirt sell pressure but my wife’s much better judgement prevailed. I’m so thankful now that it did. Best wishes to you as well and I hope you read the book…Thanks!


  11. Reblogged this on Stephen Geez Blog and commented:
    Thanks, Jan Sikes, for kicking off your new Sunday Spotlight with Mark Herndon to celebrate the release of his new jacketed keepsake (personalized and autographed!) hardcover of The High Road, his poignant and personal memoir!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh wow, Jan! What an amazing guy. Alabama is one of my all time favorite groups. They just kept delivering hit after hit and I never get tired of listening to their music. I have a question for Mark. At what point did you realize that you were drinking way too much and needed help staying sober? Also, what steps did you take to achieve that? Then one more question…what was your proudest moment when you were with the band? It was a lot of very hard work, but I’m sure you also had fun times. It’s just a pleasure having you on my sister’s blogsite. Jan, you did good! Real good!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for your questions. Gaining soberiety was really a lifelong quest for me. I always wanted it but found it a VERY elusive target. In my forties it became extremely difficult to maintain the lifestyle I had known and kept up for so many years. I reveal “the straw that broke the camel’s back” in chapter 29 of my book.(hint,hint..I wrote that chapter hoping my story would somehow help anyone else who wished to get up and out of that struggle.

      My proudest moment with the band?? Holy cow! So,so many out there… One that pops to mind is induction into The Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.


      Liked by 4 people

      1. Mark, I love honesty in people, the ones who own the parts of themselves that make them cringe. We all have them. I look forward to reading your book. It’s been so fun having you on Jan’s blog. I’m green with envy!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan,
      I posted on FB as well, but I just wanted to thank you here for taking the time to host me on your blog. I really enjoyed speaking with you the other day. I was kinda sorry when the interview was! Anyway, thanks again and much success to you as well!!

      Liked by 3 people

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